2018 album news

Lifted (in part at least) from the BBC 6 Music article 18 albums we’re looking forward to in 2018. As ever, their selection does differ somewhat from mine, but there is still some correlation.

I heard the “new” Manic Street Preachers single International Blue for the first time yesterday (hey, it’s been December) and I was instantly hooked. Described – accurately – as a sister song to this immortal classic:

…it promises much for their Resistance is Futile album, due early April.

We’re also “promised” offerings from Sleaford Mods, Muse (who knows what we’ll get this time: I’m going for a glam rock orchestral rave electronica classical piano opus), hometown boys the Arctic Monkeys and the rest of those Belle and Sebastian EPs.

That’s a lot of potentially great music to look forward to. 2018 could be almost as good as several of the previous years have been.

New Muse Song!

There’s new stuff from Muse? So why would I blog anything else today?

It’s called Dig Down, and the video is – once again – set in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic, digital world full of cyborgs and flickering monitors.

Remember Madness from their last album? Well, this is basically exactly the same song. The trouser-wobbling electronic bass is there, the Queen-esque theatrical guitars and vocals are there, Matt Bellamy’s imploring voice soaring over the lot of it. Not much progression here, to be honest.

Hmm. Jury’s out.

Is This The Best Album Review Ever?

And Was That A Bit Of A Clickbaity Post Title?


I’ve been listening to Drones, Muse’s seventh studio album for a couple of weeks now and it’s still not quite bitten. Just still a little bit hit and miss for me. One thing that is for sure (and is backed up by ever other review I’ve read thus far) is that it’s a “concept album” set in “a harrowing, Orwellian picture of a world reduced to a totalitarian state”, and describing “the journey of a human, from their abandonment and loss of hope, to their indoctrination by the system to be a human drone, to their eventual defection from their oppressors”. Happy days.

Continuing from where The Resistance left off and railing against Big Government and Big Corporates (the album is released on small independent label, Warner Bros), Drones – promised as a return to their roots – seems to have done that rather effectively by simply being a mishmash of all the previous Muse albums. And that is no bad thing. In fact, musically, I think that the individual tracks are fairly spectacular. Together, though – I just don’t know.

Some people have made their minds up though, like this reviewer for example. Call it a hunch, but I don’t think that he’s hugely impressed.

F*** me with the wet end of a guided f***ing missile that’s accidentally landed in a giant tub of f***ing horseshit, the f***ing swear word hasn’t been coined that’s sufficiently f***ing potent enough to convey just what a jawdroppingly, pants-chewingly, arse-achingly abysmal f***ing album these serially offending c***wits have come up with this time round! To call it “utter bollocks” would a f***ing insult even to the meanest, sweatiest pair of bollocks! I would in all seriousness consider my time to have been more rewardingly spent if I’d pressed my f***ing ear up against the bollocks of a random f***ing bloke on the tube for 53 f***ing minutes than listened to the toxic f***ing barrel of rancid elephant smegma that is Drones! Can you imagine the internal agonies of whatever poor c*** of a f***ing record company executive had to experience every last minute of this pompous, incoherent, incontinent, beyond-laughable, addled, 112th rate, thunderously f***ing vacuous tower of toss?

If you can get past the constant self-censorship (which is actually rather off-putting, and not just in that is constantly disrupts the readability of the column) and try to imagine this as the rage of a utterly livid music journalist (something like an unrestrained Nick Taras) in a darkened room of a bedsit in London, rather than a contrived attention-seeking list of obscenities, then it could be one of the best album reviews ever. And I’m giving “Mr Agreeable” (for it is he) the benefit of the doubt, because lines like:

the toxic f***ing barrel of rancid elephant smegma


“Save me, from the ghosts and shadows before they eat my soul”, warbles Bellamy, like he’s having his f***ing gonads sandpapered by an over-fussy mother!

would get nothing but praise were they to appear in an episode of Blackadder.

Mr Agreeable may not be Richard Curtis or Rowan Atkinson. He may not even be agreeable.
But this might just be the best album review I have ever read.


If I didn’t play the violin, I would want to play the cello. Cellos sound great. So when I spotted this earlier on StephanieBe’s blog, I simply had to share it on here because it’s an excellent cover of an excellent song, done… er… excellently.
On cellos.

So. Much. Energy.

As Ms Be points out, it’s worth clicking the SETTINGS > QUALITY and banging it up as high as your bandwidth will allow, if only for the better sound.

2CELLOS are Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser and have an album out, which includes their covers of Thunderstruck and Radiohead’s Street Spirit (Fade Out) which is very special.
Oh, and fun fact: this video was filmed at a real mental hospital in Pula, Croatia.

Vintage Muse

Perhaps because they announced that they will have a new album out this time next year, or perhaps just because Steve Jobs’ spinny touchy wheel thing on my iPod looks really nice but doesn’t actually work every time, I ended up doing an Artists – Muse – All Songs – Random on my way into work this morning.

“I’m going to blog some vintage Muse this morning,” I thought. “People need some vintage Muse today.”
But which song to choose from the 106 that I have on my device?

Muse in Cape Town, 2008

At first, it seemed easy: Unintended was on, and as the orange sun rose over the mountains, that seemed perfect. But then there was suddenly New Born and that was great too. And then Map Of The Problematique, arguably my favourite Muse song, but quite dangerous in an overly-energetic way.

Basically, each song seemed better than the last, which is no bad way for things to be going, but which wasn’t helping with any sort of decision making. So I made a plan: whichever song was playing when I arrived at work would be the one I would share. And that was Falling Away With You.

Sadly, the only version I could find of Falling Away With You was this rather dodgy live piano cover. Complete with a lot of coughing and other audience noise. Ugh.

You deserve better. And so you get this one, with its salutary-message-shock-twist-in-the-tail ending:

According to that link at the top, Matt Bellamy has said that the new album:

…should be something that really does strip away the additional things that we’ve experimented with on the last two albums, which is electronics, symphonics and orchestral work and all that kind of stuff.

That disappoints me a little. Not because I don’t enjoy a bit of vintage Muse (see this post, for example), but because I thought that the last couple of albums were ground-breaking in the way that they dragged in all sorts of drama and showmanship on top of their rocky foundation. It was all so new, so adventurous, so different.

Not everyone liked it. But not everyone likes One Direction and they seem to do ok!!!!

I will, of course, get the new album when it comes out. It will, of course, be brilliant. But it won’t be unique. And that seems like a bit of a step backwards for me.